How to Prepare a Young Adult to Move into their First Apartment
Most Young People Look Forward to Relaxing in Their First Apartment - Someplace They Can Think of As Their First Home!
Somewhere between the ages of 19 and 24, your adult child will be ready to move into a place of their own. Once you and they feel that they are mature enough, as well as emotionally and financially secure, they should be ready to establish their own household ... usually in an apartment. If this is your first child to move out, neither of you may know what to expect.
The first thing which has to happen before a young adult can get their first apartment is that they need to have a job, with an income that is ample enough to cover their expenses. Many apartment complexes require that the tenant's gross income be at least twice the monthly lease amount ... and sometimes more. Of course, if your child is a student, you may have to rent the apartment in your own name, until they are ready to support themselves.
The young person will also need at least $1000 to cover deposits and emergency expenses. (Sometimes this starter money comes from graduation and other gifts.) In some situations, parents may have to co-sign the first lease with their adult child. Unless they are a student and dependent on you, try to avoid being a co-signer, if possible. You do not want to take responsibility for paying their rent unless you are really confident in your child's maturity and ability to support themselves.
In addition, since you want them to learn how to take care of their finances, you may want to get them the Suze Orman book, below. It will answer their questions about buying a car or home, getting insurance, starting a retirement fund, and much more.
Choosing a Roommate
In many cases, young adults need to have a roommate in order to afford their first apartment. However, don't be surprised if this arrangement only lasts a year or two. Often young adults have wildly different interests and levels of maturity. While one is looking for a party house, the other is looking for a quiet place to relax after working all day. This can create immediate conflict! Have a discussion with your young adult about what they need in a roommate. Their best friend from high school might not be the best choice for a roommate as an adult. Only an honest discussion can help them make the right decision.
Choosing the right roommate is especially important if you are going to be co-signing the lease. You want to make sure the roommate also has a job and is able to carry their part of the rent ... or you may end up paying it, instead.
Banking and Retirement Accounts
Along with finding a job and an apartment, the young adult also needs to set up banking and retirement accounts, as well as establish their own credit, if they have not already done so. They should plan to deposit a small amount of money each month into both a retirement account and a savings account. The savings account is especially important, so that they have money for emergencies. Help them establish a reasonable budget, so they are not continually turning to you for help with every minor emergency! As you know, cars break down, people get sick, pets get injured and other "surprises" creep up almost continually in life. Our children need to learn to be prepared for these events, too!
Your Young Adult May Need Financial Advice - This is an Excellent Resource!
Make Sure They Know How to Cook and Have the Right Supplies
Once the young person has found a job and an apartment, and created a budget that will allow them to live comfortably within their means, they are ready to move into their new place. However, most young people who are moving from their parents' home will not have many belongings to move, other than their clothing, computer and personal items.
Now is the time to decide what you are willing to have them take to their new home. Is it alright with you for them to take the bedroom furniture they grew up with? Do you have any other old furniture that you were planning to get rid of anyway? What about dishes, tableware, glasses and cups? Do you have any mismatched items cluttering up your cabinets that you would like to get rid of, or replace? What about towels and bed linens? Why not give the adult child some of your old things and buy new supplies for yourself? Personally, every time one of my daughters moved out of the house, I got myself some new glasses and everyday dishes. It made it fun for both of us!
Before you know it, you and your child will be visiting each other, meeting for lunch, and establishing an entirely new relationship as two adults. Enjoy yourselves! It will be fun!
Here's a Book to Help You Launch Your Teens into Adulthood in a Loving Way - Without Getting Too Clingy or Leaving Them Unprepared
Parents can do a lot to make sure they have successfully launched their child into adulthood. Remember that it is a joint effort between you and your kids.
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